Aviation art by Swindon painter David Bent helps lift spirits at Great Western Hospital

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Twenty-two artworks by highly-acclaimed local artist David Bent are being exhibited at the Great Western Hospital  until 2 October.

David is credited with leading a new movement in modern aviation art, and his work has also been exhibited in St Paul’s cathedral, the Royal Tent Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and at the RAF Museum in London.

He is the artist most closely associated with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows (as featured in ‘Red Arrows Freestyling Through The Bluebell Woods’, right), having first been invited to collaborate as artist in residence with them in 2007.

He retains a positive relationship with the team and has created major artworks inspired by time spent with the team at RAF Scampton and RAF Akrotiri over the past seven years.

David was a patient at the hospital in 2014, when both he and his wife, Carole, were reminded of the power of art in hospitals in lifting people’s spirits.

Art has been a part of the life of the Great Western Hospital since it opened in 2002, and the Trust is delighted that David is recognising and supporting the initiative.

The Trust’s Chaplain, Steve Henderson, who is also a member of the Hospital Arts committee, explained: “The Arts Committee oversees the art displayed in the Fine Art Gallery Area of the Ground Floor Street of the hospital.

“David has kindly allowed the hospital to display his work and the Committee is enthusiastic to display it because of its innovative and inspiring approach to viewing and conceiving these machines of the air in lateral and surprising ways.”

This is a unique opportunity for the people of Swindon to view a collection of works by one of its most reputable artists.

Graham Carter, editor of Swindon Heritage magazine, said: “It’s good to see a great Swindon artist like David Bent being exhibited in our home town.

“I’m glad to say that even more of David’s work will be on display in September, when a special collection of his Battle of Britain artworks will be exhibited as part of a unique commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the battle, paying tribute to Harold Starr, Swindon’s own Battle of Britain hero and the other 543 of the ‘the few’.”

David hanging his work at GWH. Photo Richard Wintle of Calyx Below, David’s Red Arrows painting Timeless

david bent red arrows painting timeless